ESPN’s State Farm Champions Classic Men’s Basketball Doubleheader Renews through 2019

Champions Renewal

Marquee event pits four of the nation’s best – Duke, Kansas, Kentucky & Michigan State
Returns to Chicago, Indianapolis & New York City

The State Farm Champions Classic – an early-season neutral-site doubleheader featuring Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State – will continue through the 2019 season. The doubleheader, which began in 2011, will be played in Chicago (2017), Indianapolis (2018) and New York City (2019). The marquee matchups will continue to be the culminating games of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon that provides more than 24 hours of consecutive basketball coverage to mark the start of the college basketball season.

“We are pleased to extend the Champions Classic for a new three-year term into the 2019 college basketball season,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president, ESPN Events. “This marquee event will continue to showcase four teams that represent the very best of college basketball and its rich history.”

This year’s sixth annual State Farm Champions Classic will be played on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, from Madison Square Garden in New York City featuring Kentucky vs. Michigan State (7 p.m.) and Duke vs. Kansas (9:30 p.m.). Tickets will go on sale in October, information to be announced at a later date.

Future Champions Classic Matchups

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 (United Center, Chicago)

  • Kansas vs. Kentucky
  • Duke vs. Michigan State

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 (Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis)

  • Michigan State vs. Kansas
  • Duke vs. Kentucky

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 (Madison Square Garden, New York City)

  • Kansas vs. Duke
  • Michigan State vs. Kentucky


Team Notes

  • Overall record in the Champions Classic: Duke 3-2, Kentucky 3-2, Michigan State 3-2 and Kansas 1-4.
  • Three of the top four all-time winningest men’s college basketball programs: Kentucky (first – 2,205), Kansas (second – 2,186) and Duke (fourth – 2,087).
  • A combined 18 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships (since 1939): Kentucky (eight), Duke (five), Kansas (three) and Michigan State (two).
  • A total of 57 NCAA Final Four appearances (since 1939): Kentucky (17), Duke (16), Kansas (14) and Michigan State (10).
  • A total of 31 players that participated in the Champions Classic were taken in the first round of the NBA Draft: 2012 (7), 2013 (4), 2014 (8), 2015 (8) and 2016 (4) from Kentucky (14), Duke (9), Kansas (5) and Michigan State (3).



  • Each year’s viewership has averaged 2.5 million viewers.
  • The Michigan State vs. Kentucky game as part of the 2013 event was the most-watched Champions Classic with 4,002,020 viewers.
  • The 2015 Kentucky vs. Duke game was the highest-rated matchup of the 2015-16 regular season with a 2.0 household rating.

Previous Results

Year City Matchups
2011 New York City Duke 74 vs. Michigan State 69

Kentucky 75 vs. Kansas 65

2012 Atlanta Michigan State 67 vs. Kansas 64

Duke 75 vs. Kentucky 68

2013 Chicago Michigan State 78 vs. Kentucky 74

Kansas 94 vs. Duke 83

2014 Indianapolis Duke 81 vs. Michigan State 71

Kentucky 72 vs. Kansas 40

2015 Chicago Kentucky 74 vs. Duke 63

Michigan State 79 vs. Kansas 73

For more information about the State Farm Champions Classic, visit the official website or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

ESPN Events ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 12 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program. Collegiate Football Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth) Collegiate Basketball AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.) For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.